Rita Phillips

AYRI- 14 Lessons Learnt from Rita’s Life & Legacy

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23:6 (KJV)

Today has been quite a journey. My family and I were awoken in the wee hours of the morning to the news that my grandmother, Rita had passed away. She had been admitted to the hospital on Monday and we’d been told that she was very ill so the outlook from the doctors wasn’t good.

As her passing was today (14th September), I thought I’d share 14 Lessons that I Learnt from Rita’s Life & Legacy.

  1. Keep God centre- My grandmother was a Christian and I was fortunate to see the impact of her daily commitment to God
  2. Serve God gladly- Rita was a very active member of her church and involved in several activities/ministries before her declining health caused her to remain at home
  3. Love & take care of family & friends- Ma (as we called her) loved & supported her family in various ways and that also extended to her neighbours and friends
  4. Work earnestly- My best memory of this was when my gran visited on Saturdays to work the ground around our house even after tending to her environs during the week. I remember being surprised on multiple occasions at what she accomplished in just over half a day by us.
  5. Never give up- During her illness, Ma surprised doctors many times by rallying on, causing them to call her a miracle
  6. Seek encouragement- When I visited, Rita would usually have me read one of her favourite Psalms to her and she would join in with me finishing verses as I read
  7. Look smart- When attending different functions, my grandmother was sure to be decked out. I remember her coming to say goodbye if I was visiting and letting me see the outfit she had chosen for the particular function
  8. Make time for what you enjoy- Ma loved gardening and working outdoors and this was a staple in her routine. She also loved the Lord and made sure to arrange her time so she could serve at her church
  9. Be kind & cultivate generosity- Over the years, I was privileged to see my gran share with and give various items to family, friends and those in need
  10. Be friendly- Rita was usually seen with a smile on her face so it was not surprising to see that she had several friends
  11. Be courageous- Ma displayed courage time and time again especially during her illness as she experienced health challenges
  12. Ask for help- I remember my grandmother had to give a speech and she recruited help from other family members to ensure that the finished version was her best.
  13. Make time for fun & laughter- There were always lighthearted moments in the mix with Rita as we laughed with her about different anecdotes and circumstances that unfolded
  14. Let peace rule in your heart- Even during the extended period of Ma’s sickness, she always had a pleasant demeanor. Her circumstances did not dictate her attitude

I’m grateful for these life lessons. I know that I will reflect on them as I fondly remember Ma and continue to incorporate them in my life.



You loved, you laughed,

You cared, you shared,

Because of you we’re not the same

And in our hearts you’ll always remain.


‘Til we meet again…


A Tribute to:

Rita Phillips- 4th December, 1929- 14th September, 2018


Are You Really In?

You may also like...


  1. Ravon Ramsay says:

    To God be the glory for such a gem. I remember her while I was growing up in Glad Tidings Church. I cannot recall any moments in which I spoke with her directly face to face but one thing I remember about her is that whenever she stood to give a testimony, after a sentence or two she would say, “Praise the name of the Lord.” I also remember times in which she had to be in charge of Sunday morning services and if there is one song I remember her singing and leading us in during that time she was in charge of the services is “Love Lifted Me”
    Truly I can say that she is in the presence of the Lord and I pray that you the family and other friends be comforted with that fact.
    May she continue to Rest in the arms of Jesus Christ. Till we meet again Deaconess Phillips.
    Love and blessings all.

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Joseph Phillips says:

    To God be the Glory, great things He have done.Tamika I am inspired by this article, and the contents are very rich.

    Ma; my auntie, adopted mother, my friend,was a very special and lovely lady.She was a giver, and she loved giving willingly. She was a disciplinarian as well but she wanted the best for her family.

    I know that she is in a better place because the initials in her name spell it out;( Rita Irene Phillips) R.I.P You will always be remembered and you have left a legacy for you children , grands; great grands, great great grands, close family members, the community that you have lived in for so many years; your former work colleagues;your church family. You life have impacted the young and the old, the good, the bad but most of all it has impacted me. Going home to a better place; because of a job well done.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing Joseph and good point about her initials, I hadn’t realised 🙂

  3. Sherry-ann Alleyne-Joyner says:

    I remember her always as a woman of God, going to church with my family. Everytime she pass my grandma’s house she would be calling for her. Never saw her angry always smiling and loving. She has live a good life to the end. She will be remembered. Rita Phillips continued to shine in glory. S.I.P, until we meet again.

    1. Thank you for sharing

  4. Yvonne hoyte says:

    Such beautiful words,
    Rita reminds me of mum and I wish I had the pleasure of growing up around my aunties in Barbados, mum misses her sisters dearly may Auntie rIta rest in peace!!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share.

  5. A strong woman of God one that I deeply admired and appreciate.
    I had the privilege and courtesy of being in her home and treated with all kindness and love. Until we meet again Ma R.I.P a dear mother in law

    1. Thank you for sharing.

  6. This is a great article! One thing about Ma too is her faith was truly … faith she was not academically inclined, or something that could be put into words. but she knew what she knew to get the job done. She just believed… and truly had faith in the face of despair and emotional times.
    It showed in her gardening… just keep sowing the seeds…. are you really in? Are you continuing to sow the seeds?

    1. Thanks for sharing, this list is by no means exhaustive. It’s been good to hear others’ memories and lessons based on their time with her.

  7. Joan Marshall says:

    I am not surprise that your grandmother had all these endearing qualities. The legacy that she left can been seen in you. I am glad I got a chance to know her through your eyes. May she rest in peace.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Auntie Joan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *